The Argentine Darwin cemetery in the Falkland Islands has been formally declared a national historic site in a decree signed by Argentine president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner according to reports in the Buenos Aires press.
The text of the decree, 2.131/2008 published in the Official Bulletin states that "The President of the Nation decrees that the cemetery in Port Darwin be declared a national historic site". Port Darwin is identified as belonging to Isla Soledad, Archipelago de las Islas Malvinas en la Provincia de Tierra del Fuego, Antarctica and South Atlantic Islands. The text also recalls that the cemetery hosts the Argentine Memorial to the Fallen in the Malvinas and South Atlantic Islands. The cemetery next to the Darwin and Goose Green settlements in East Falkland has the graves of dozens of Argentine combatants that died during the 1982 South Atlantic conflict between Argentina and the United Kingdom. In April Argentine forces invaded the Falklands and on June 14th surrendered to a British Task Force sent to recover the Islands with a death toll of 900, of which 258 British and 649 Argentines, many of them buried in Darwin cemetery. In Goose Green next to Darwin one of the most ferocious infantry battles of the war was fought. On the night of May 28th and the following dawn the British tried and finally managed to defeat Argentine soldiers belonging to the 12th Infantry Regiment from the northern province of Corrientes. The Argentine forces were mainly recruits, ill armed, ill prepared and put up a strong and courageous defence before being overwhelmed by the advancing British forces. It was a significant victory for the British and had a demoralizing impact for the Argentines with a final toll of 17 and 47 dead respectively. The decision is strong evidence of the Argentine national Executive branch sovereignty standing claim over the Islas Malvinas, one of the remaining colonial bastions of Great Britain and which were usurped in the XIXth century, adds the decree, according to the reports in the Buenos Aires press. In spite of the repeated requests before United Nations, Great Britain refuses to comply with UN declarations and calls for sovereignty talks between London and Buenos Aires and the return of the Malvinas Islands.